Tick Season

For our area, NSW Central Coast, it is - as a dog owner - important to know that spring to summer is the peak Tick Season.

Though there are numerous species of Ticks this post will concentrate on the Paralysis Tick (Ixodes Holocyclus)

As we can see from this image, the highest activity is from October through to February. Peak tick activity has been reported as occurring after short bouts of rain followed by warmer weather. This increases humidity and stabilises the environmental conditions which allow these ticks to be highly active.

Symptoms usually occur within 3-5 days of the tick attaching itself to the host. Symptoms include:

  • Loss of voice

  • Hindquarter weakness/lameness

  • Breathing laboured

  • Increased body temperature

  • Anxious

  • Pupils dilated

In severe cases, death can result due to hypoventilation - this means not enough oxygen is getting to the lungs.

Most ticks can be found from the nose to just behind the shoulders, as the dog is foraging through bush/scrub, these are the areas most likely to come into contact with ticks and other parasites. If you locate a tick, scan the rest of the body, from tail to nose for more, make sure you’re checking in the crotch, armpits, between the toes, up the nose, down the ear etc. If you have to shave the fur back...so be it. Better be safe than not.